The decision of Manchester United and Liverpool not to have an embroidered red poppy on their shirts has caused quite a fuss. United have said that the poppy will not show up on their shirts and with all the work and charity they already do for the armed forces, don’t feel that joining other Premiership clubs in having a poppy on their shirt will add to the contribution.
The Daily Mail is predictably incensed by the whole thing after they launched a campaign to get all clubs to follow suit. Either you put a poppy on your shirt or you’re a disgusting prick who shames the memory of all those who have died fighting for our country. Is that what this is all about? When you put money in the charity tin are you doing it to help out or are you doing it so you put a poppy on your jacket to show the world you’re a charitable person? Can we show respect to those that have died fighting without wearing a poppy? No?
Stoke and Blackburn had said they weren’t going to have a poppy on their kit but have succumbed to the Mail‘s campaign. United have confirmed that they won’t be doing the same though.
“We are very proud of the work we do with the armed forces and we do not feel a poppy on the shirt would add to our contribution,” said a United spokesperson. “Our staff and officials will be wearing them as usual and we are confident we are doing the right thing.”
Of course, on Sunday Chelsea will make a big song and dance about it. We’ll have the Chelsea pensioners wheeled out and the Mail will bleet on about what an English hero John Terry is. Terry, who has always said England is more important to him than Chelsea, was recently signing the prosthetic legs and arms of soldiers who had been on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They love their football, they like to look up to us but I would like to be in their shoes and do what they do,” Terry said. “It’s great they want to do that and they are brilliant at their job. I would love to serve, of course. Put your life on the line for the country – I would love to.”
Go on then. Give up your £170k a week and go and do what you would love. Instead of talking to press about how you would love to do it, prove it, and actually put yourself in their shoes. What’s stopping you? Go to the front lines and fight for your country, you British bulldog, you! What? Watching your mates die, killing people, fucking up your head forever, leaving your wife and kids, being terrified, not knowing why you’re there. Don’t fancy it, John? Neither do I. If I did, I would be there, just like Terry would. Terry cries when he loses a bloody football match, what use would he be in Afghanistan?! Fuck sake, people talk rubbish.
Still, I don’t really understand why United aren’t getting involved, but even more puzzling is Liverpool. It’s very unlike them not to jump on the mourning bandwagon. They usually love an excuse to get the black armbands out so I wonder why they are reluctant to have the poppy. Maybe, like us, their American owners are skint and simply don’t want to fork out the cash for a new kit!